New Delhi, April 27: Even as the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) put rapid testing on hold, the Delhi High Court directed that these kits be sold at ₹400.
The court said that a profit of 61% on the original price was more than sufficient, especially when the country was going through an unprecedented medical crisis affecting people and the economy, The Hindustan Times reported.
On April 24, Justice Najmi Waziri asked an importer, who had sold 24,000 kits at an ICMR-approved price of ₹600, to sell the rapid kits for ₹400 each, considering the kits reached him at ₹245 each. The court ordered so while hearing a dispute between a distributor and an importer who was supplying kits to several states after they were brought from China.
The distributor and the importer had signed a deal to become the exclusive distributor of medical products brought into India by the importer. In his plea, the distributor said that he intended to sell one million kits and requested the importer for them, following which the kits could be sent to the ICMR, various states and hospitals.
The petitioner contended that the monies are to be paid after the tests meet the requisite standards of the ICMR. The first consignment of 2.76 lakh tests was delivered to the ICMR on April 17, for which an invoice had been raised but the payment was awaited. He stated that the moment he received the payment, he would remit it to the importer.
However, the importer sought that the entire money be paid at the time of delivery. Following this, the court directed that 2.24 lakh tests shall be delivered to the ICMR, the moment they land in India. It also said that the petitioner (distributor) can pay the money within 24 hours of receiving the funds from the ICMR.
At this juncture, the importer informed the court that it has received an order for the supply of 50,000 kits/tests, from the Government of Tamil Nadu, through an intermediary dealer at the ICMR-approved rate of ₹600 per test. Of this order, 24,000 kits have been supplied and 26,000 more are yet to be supplied.
Noting that more kits should be made available urgently at the lowest possible cost throughout the country; Justice Waziri said that the kits should be sold at a price, not beyond ₹400 inclusive of the GST agreed upon d by both the distributor and the importer.
The court also ordered that of the five lakh kits to be delivered, 50,000 shall be excluded for the State of Tamil Nadu and the remaining 450,000 would be available for the importer to either directly sell to a government/ government agency or a private entity that has received due approval to carry out such tests.